Tag Archives: troll

Troll or concerned citizen?

24 Aug

I am sincerely hopeful I never have to revisit this subject again.

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Having to deal with “professionals” who feel trolling behaviour is not only warranted but is totally defensible if they have a “greater good” at the end of a murky tunnel, has been horrible.

In my opinion, naming someone as a perpetrator of a crime, participant in an indiscretion etc – before any evidence has been gathered, before even speaking to a that person is NEVER warranted. Especially if you are NOT a govt body investigating an issue.

Indeed, that person being named may not even be involved in whatever storm you are whipping up & here-in lies the problem.

Trolling on a “professional level” is a slippery slope to Vigilantly-ville, one which not only can ruin careers / lives, but can lead to physical harm.

Personally, with what has taken place recently, the issue for me is so much bigger than my chagrin. The issue is that self appointed guardians online have not followed the professional protocol they are vehemently spouting as a defence for their actions.

In fact, as a twisted way to justify the behaviour – I was told in so many words to “suck it up” as my personal feelings & business which may be harmed by this whirlwind of unsubstantiated gumpf are inconsequential if their trolling gets a wider message of “Don’t mess with us” out there.

Anyone who knows me – both in a professional & personal capacity, knows my blog is aimed at small business owners. It’s to explain that everyone online is a consumer. Their experience online will without doubt be affected by how they see a business / professional person behave. They also know I do what I do (marketing etc) for the people I help, as a passion not as a profitable business. I do it as I believe in connecting people. Hence the charity work also.

I just wish other professionals had contacted me prior to this past week’s shenanigans

So in a last ditch attempt at restoring some morals & ethics to a bunch of behaviour – I am listing some definitions of trolling.

I am hopeful the professionals may recognise the means does NOT justify the (very doubtful) end.

One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.
(urbandictionary.com)
Someone who leaves an intentionally annoying message on the internet, in order to get attention or cause trouble.
(CambridgeDictionary.org)
One who hides under the bridges of topics, eagerly waiting to pounce on meek or unexpecting individuals and shower them with opposing opinions or ideas (generally derogatorily)
(Yahoo.co.uk)
Do I believe all those who have been so vocal online are trolls in the worst sense? NO
But it’s so difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff when its relentless & so damaging.
My concern is, run with the crowd & you get caught up with the crowd.
There are better ways to make yourself heard – more professional ways.
In all seriousness. YOU are out there – every time you post. Make sure the YOU that is seen, is professional and trustworthy.

The potential for good from Social media is endless, if you know how to maximize it…

                          
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Reasons for good Social Media Etiquette

22 Aug

My thoughts for anyone using Social media as a way to display your knowledge, prowess, goods or services online (Which let’s be frank, should be almost everyone now as Social Media is THE way to build relationships and brands for the 21st century).

Ignore user experience and interaction at your peril.
I say this so often when giving advice to the charities and SME’s I work with. People get a very small snapshot of you on-line, make their experience a pleasant one. Yes you can tell them about yourself and the work you do, but try not to be “superior” or condescending in your output. Not everyone has the in-depth knowledge of your industry that has made you the professional you are.

Particularly, pay careful attention to your posts about fellow industry colleagues / competitors or just other businesses in general. (Be they professional or personal posts) as everyone, no matter what we do, are always first and foremost consumers.

Social M MistakeWe have all grown to expect nothing short of a delightful experience from our online interactions… Whether it’s looking for a cafe locally, booking a cab, searching a hashtag or just browsing through Twitter, we want it to be simple, easy and painless.

My own personal experience has this past week been very difficult, the posts I have been party to from a group of “professionals” in an industry which already has a horrible reputation, has been eye-wateringly painful to see.

Most shocking was that these were posts from professionals who are upon investigation, extremely well educated and seem to a have a great track record in their professions.  They seem to have an on-line vigilante group (their words on a tweet) that policies their industry and “takes out” (again verbatim) anyone they perceive to be a threat in any way. This is without any investigation by a government or regulatory body, nor any actual criminal charges in any shape or form.. BUT cross their path at your peril (actually from what I witnessed, many in their industry don’t have much chance avoiding them as they seem to spend endless hours trolling the internet for victims of their vigilantism) because your feed on Twitter and I should imagine elsewhere online (I haven’t checked) is obliterated by uninvestigated (by authorities) accusations and personal jibes.

I have been party, purely because one of these “professionals” sought me out though, I am assuming, my LinkedIn connection to one of the small businesses they were attacking this past week.

Did I get a phone call? A tweet? A message? An email? Carrier pigeon? To tell me they believed an acquaintance of mine may be not as professional as they feel they are?

Sadly no. The professionals in this industry believe that by posting a totally unrelated industry, small business details online and accusing the director of being a “little lady” “earning lots of money” “with a silly surname” is totally acceptable.

This obviously hit a nerve with me and even still 4 days later – these “Professionals” are referring to me online, despite my doing the right thing on day one. I made contact with the governing body of their industry to offer any and all support to any investigations they may be carrying out (which incidentally were none and they were not happy at what they had witnessed online). On day 2 I made contact with 2 of the people tweeting – one of whom engaged with me and I am now totally convinced they believe their tactics online are helpful for their industry; however anyone else watching, myself and all my followers included, feel it has just underlined the “Bullyboy” “Couldn’t care less” attitude that is the perception of this particular industry.

Overall it has just reaffirmed everything that Social Media is about – it gets information out super-quick, it gets your name known and a brand (if you pitch it right) out to the world. However your actions/words are there for eternity.

My advice –

  1. Everyone is a potential consumer – treat everyone with dignity. Don’t disengage a whole faction of the populace, just because they may not fit in with what you are trying to achieve.
  2. Consumers are not children – technology has enabled consumers to take care of more complicated matters on their own. Instead of relying on experts and hours of research. However we all would like advice every now and then, THAT’S your role, help and advice and build trust. Don’t badger and condescend. You will lose credibility.
  3. Compliance and the law are key – Building customer trust is essential, after all there are more than just one of you (by you I mean service/product providers in your field of expertise). Your customers will want to know that their privacy and security is paramount. Seeing you online naming other businesses/contacts negatively without any forethought makes consumers uneasy and rightly so. Their thoughts will be “what will they say if I take my business elsewhere”? “What will they say about me if I skip a payment”?
  4. Know when to admit a wrong – consumers can question businesses online immediately now. A quickly drafted placating phrase used to be enough, now people need to feel valued. So admit if you are wrong and show online what steps you are taking to amend a situation.

Personally I think the “vigilantes” I encountered this week will believe themselves to be beyond reproach. That’s ok, I can honestly say my business is my passion and I do it because I love it, not for financial gain. This is usually the crux of many issues of trolling / twitter shaming. Money (Either that or I’ve said no to a date at some point).

But in all seriousness. YOU are out there – every time you post. Make sure the YOU that is seen, is professional and trustworthy. downloadt

The potential from Social media is endless, if you know how to maximize it…

Rocoja knows how to!

Contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

                          

Cyber Bullying – A change of demographic – gone away or did it just get OLDER?

20 Aug

After a few days of witnessing an eye watering display of online bullying, I felt the need to write a paragraph or two in support of other small businesses who may be suffering this new phenomenon.

Bullying statistics have shown that cyberbullying is a serious problem among teens and can take many forms.

Below are the most common complained about forms of cyberbullying (by adolescents)

  • Sending mean messages or threats to a person’s email account or cell phone
  • Spreading rumours online or through texts
  • Posting hurtful or threatening messages on social networking sites or web pages
  • Pretending to be someone else online to hurt another person
  • Taking unflattering pictures of a person and spreading them through cell phones or the Internet

It has been proven to lead to anxiety, depression, and even suicide as, sadly once things are circulated on the Internet, they may never disappear, resurfacing at later times to renew the pain of cyber bullying.

Many Cyber bullies admit to feeling superior and even worse, some do not even realise what they are doing is harmful or hurtful. They may not think about the effects their behaviour has.

The worst effect has been shown to be suicide amongst teens / children who have been victim to this behaviour.

So why is Rocoja posting about Cyberbullying?

I have witnessed over 2 days this week one of the worst cases of cyberbullying I have ever seen. If it had been children or young adults on Twitter for all to see, it would’ve been easy to deal with. A quick phone call to the police and a quick “report” to Twitter & hopefully Job-done. BUT this was instigated & whipped to fever pitch by a group of supposedly “professional” adults.

My involvement? Why did I see it…? I have helped a small business this month, I have set up a Twitter account for them & they proudly have a whole 50 followers (achieved in 2 weeks).

However let’s be clear, this is not a thriving conglomerate, contributing to world collapse. This is a small business in a niche industry starting out on Social Media.

On Wednesday, out of no-where, a group of professionals in the same business arena as the SME began to take screenshots of their new website, picking at grammar & wording.

They began to post it on Twitter with quotes such as

“You Are NOT regulated” – Which is correct & the business never purported to be.

“Young Director – Rolls eyes” – How is age relevant?

“This company is enticing people to them” – Well yes, that’s what all companies do.

“Are they even legal, Shouldn’t they be authorised or something” – ????

“Dick Turpin Outfit” – ???

“Shut down now” -????

“Post your qualifications” -???

All of which is designed to engender mistrust & angst.

I responded (to help the company out, as I was appalled) maintaining a pleasant and professional manner, asking the obviously concerned writers to contact the company Director to discuss any issues – I also asked for advice on what exactly the perpetrators had an issue with. Which was declined.

Overall on Wednesday there were over 120 Tweets naming the small business & adding in phrases designed to engender mistrust from anyone who could see this.

Also the 6-7 Tweeters were copying in the regulatory body for their profession & were even saying things like “SME X is being investigated” etc. etc.

Overall, Wednesday was a very sad day….. But it finished & I went to bed after my physio session feeling exhausted just from re-reading the whole thing, in case there was anything the SME could’ve done differently..

This morning, I popped on my computer, but I am faced with more abuse… some of which is aimed at ME personally.

Somehow these “professionals” have found my personal Linked in profile & felt they have a right to name me & post my profile online again with tweets worded to engender mistrust.

Gems such as

“Bless her – she’s earned her money today” – Condescending & very wrong.

“I’ve trawled LinkedIn & I can see her Flower name & Football expertise????” – Condescending & rude.

“This “lovely” looks after their Twitter” (and Posted my personal profile) – Totally uncalled for.

“Where does she stand on this – is she Dupe or Accomplice” – To what?????

Now I’m a big brave girl, I’ve been through the wars (Not a story I share so don’t ask) and no one scares me. However rudeness and people being unsupportive & downright bullying makes my blood boil.

Again the regulatory body for their profession was copied in on the tweets aimed at “Twitter shaming” & cyber-bullying me personally.  Again the inference was the SME & myself are now under some sort of investigation thanks to these Superhero Twitter Battle-forces of good & righteousness……

So, me being me, I meet this head on & picked up the telephone – something these “professionals” seem to be unable to do as all the keyboard warrioring has obviously affected that ability!

I call their regulatory body & speak to the department running their Twitter.

I speak immediately to a very professional lady.

SHOCK – NO this body of true professionals HAS NOT engaged with any of the Super-Hero Battle Forces & indeed has been watching these events in a very saddened state as their industry already has an awful reputation & to see so called professionals rip into a SME without a thought of a kind word of advice or helping hand has just underlined everything that’s wrong with it.

She also stated that at NO point in the 2 days of Tweets have they replied, mentioned, engaged at all with any of it – as it is so unprofessional & indeed the naming & mickey taking of my personal details was a very low low!

This regulatory body cannot stop being tagged in Tweets but has assured me they have taken a very dim view of what’s been happening & if I wanted to take it further, they have taken copies of the whole engagement.

As I stated when this started (on behalf of the SME) the gang of 6-7 could have contacted the governing body & raised a complaint if they had real misgivings, or they could have issued advice to a new business on social media, helpfully assisting the UK economy by amending grammar & wording instead of completely trashing their industry by belittling not only a new business but a disabled woman who runs a charity from her home.

I deliberately haven’t mentioned any of the people involved as

  1. It’s so low & unprofessional I cannot bring myself to do it.
  2. I’m doing a massive Charity event in 3 weeks for the Armed Forces and I know some of the Twitter Super-Hero gang were ex-military & I am sure my friends in the forces would be very vocal if they think I’ve been upset.
  3. At least 2 of the perpetrators were women & I am so very upset by this fact alone, as we need more women in senior positions in industry & business. BUT all the while some ladies feel the only way they can look better is by taking the micky out of another female’s name I despair that we will ever be treated as anything more than a joke in the workplace.

Bullying is never right – not at home, not at school & most definitely not online.

Just because the screen offers you protection from being seen, it doesn’t give you carte blanche to trawl and troll.

Its also extremely worrying that the bunch I have jokingly labelled the “Super-Hero Twitter Battle Force” are actually Tweeting  (and I quote verbatim) “This is the future. A small band of Twitter vigilantes taking down unregulated scammers”.

It would also appear from that, they have appointed themselves judge, jury & executioners on small businesses encroaching on their “twitter turf”. I know this not only from my own rather horrible experience, but because a very quick peek into their timelines shows myriads of such viciously worded tweets – all judging & lambasting other businesses & individuals.

Such gems as (again all verbatim) – “If I get a sidearm & licence to kill, I’m in!”; “implies the possibility of competition. I feel no such insecurity”; “Quiet in the cheap seats. The Royal Air Force has it covered old man”; we are “The Terminators!” &  “He does exist. This is the man 👍🏽👍🏽” (the last one is particularly businesslike as it accompanies a picture of portly naked gentleman, which Im assuming the 5 people in the Twitter gangare inferring is the owner of the small business they are annihilating online for sport.

This experience has worried me that far from addressing the issues of online bullies, we have just pushed it further up the age range / business ladder.

Prove me wrong?

Next time you see a small business starting out and you are not happy with something they say or do & you are up the ladder further than them, don’t kick them off – reach down & help them.

Hand_Up2

Can you? Are you that person?

For any more help / advice  or Small Business Tips & Trick

Please contact us

Info@Rocoja.co.uk 

Karin

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